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Chuck Hagel 9, Washington 5, Benghazi 5, Paris 4, Us 3, Hagel 2, Benedict 2, America 2, Romney 2, Nina 2, Barack Obama 2, Rubio 2, Obama 2, Paul Ryan 2, John Mccain 2, Vacuous 1, Bek 1, Blimp 1, Vietnam 1, Columbus 1,
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  WETA    Inside Washington    News/Business. Round-table  
   discussions feature journalists. (CC)  

    February 15, 2013
    8:30 - 9:00pm EST  

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>> what do you think of when you see at tree? but treatment for cancer? alternative fuel for our cars? do you think of hope for the environment, or food, clothing, shelter? we do. weyerhaeuser, growing ideas. >> the greatest nation on earth cannot keep conducting its business by drifting from one manufactured crisis to the next. >> this week on "inside
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washington," the state of the union according to barack obama, and the republican response. >> his solution to every problem we face is for washington to tax more and spend more. >> a call for an increase in the minimum wage. >> why would we want to make it harder for small employers to hire people? >> a plea for tougher gun laws. >> the families of newtown deserve a vote. >> the most aggressive campaign in history to destroy our second amendment rights. >> filibustering chuck hagel. the pope resigns. what lies a check for the catholic church? >> the church is a 200-plus- year-old institution that has not changed very much, and society is leaving the church way behind. captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org--
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>> the president says the economy's improving, but we have to do better. he says republicans don't have a clue, and that austerity is not the answer. he says it is time to educate our children, subsidize new forms of energy, and rebuild our infrastructure. president obama's for the state of the yen, the first of his new term, and how do we pay the bill? >> nothing i am proposing should increase the deficit by a single dime. >> the president offered more of the same, higher taxes and more stimulus spending. >> the president wants congress to, with $40 billion to improve infrastructure, wants to raise the minimum wage to $9 an hour, wants a new energy bill similar to cap-and-trade, wants preschool for every 4-year-old in the nation, tax reform, gun control, and citizenship for undocumented immigrants. what are his chances, charles? >> approximately zero.
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he is talking as if we have a huge surplus, so we can start spending all over again. if the inaugural address was a philosophical statement of what i would call his left liberalism, the state of the union address was a programmatic expression of that. is there a human ill or social ill that he did not have the government's answer to? if he did, i did not hear it. >> mark? >> it that is a liberal agenda, we have really move the goalposts in our country. i thought the speech -- the sum of the parts did not create a greater whole. i thought that the parts of it were really good. i liked the minimum wage, i like to the education, i liked it training, i particularly liked the gun -- at the end. but there wasn't come in richard
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nixon's turn, the lift of a driving dream. >> colby? >> i don't think it was supposed to be the kind of address. i think he laid out an agenda he wants to pursue. i think he will achieve some of it. it will happen with immigration reform, i believe it, maybe not to the extent he wants. i think he will get something on guns. there is a movement out there and he hit it just right, the tone on it. minimum wage will be the traditional fight, but i think he was right to lay down the agenda that he wants to he will have to pursue it with the democrats because he will get very little support from republicans. >> nina, put your schoolmarm face on. on a grade of a to f, what would you give the speech? >> b+. there was a certain laundry list element to the speech, which it
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there is with every state of the union. in the end, it ended on a high note and a passionate note on bonds, and there was an overall tone, which was center-left but reasonable, and he did not come off looking as silly and sort of way over the top. it was a far more restrained speech than you think you would get from a "liberal liberal." >> charles says his chances of achieving this stuff is 0. >> chance of getting it all in any state of the union is 0. >> 20%? what about the minimum wage? >> the longest suicide note in the world is being written by the republicans if they don't support immigration reform. if they don't revamped their image on it, they are truly drinking the potion that is going to make them disappear.
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does the president have a good chance? he absolutely has a good chance on that. his stance on gun control improved. he can make a case for the minimum wage at a time when 121% of economic growth from 2009 to 2011 went to the top 1% in the country. >> colby, every time over the past years i have been in washington there's been talk of raising the minimum wage, you hear that we cannot hire people and it will destroy small businesses. >> that is the traditional argument. those arguments don't hold up. give me an example where increasing the minimum wage has stymied the economy, caused a jobs be lost, caused employers not to hire. where is the evidence of that? >> if that is the case, let's make it $20, $50. we not only have chronic unemployment of 8%, we have huge and terribly destructive teenage
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unemployment, minority unemployment. these are the entry-level jobs where you get started on a life of work, and if the price it out of the market and the economy that has the weakest recovery since the second world war, you are guaranteeing he will create blight for these young people. >> you when not in going to price it out, because those are the people who do the jobs none of us wanted to. >> i thought that was illegal immigrants. >> i think the odds are that he will not get it and he will not fight for it that hard. the last guy who got a minimum wage increase was ted kennedy and he actually got it. >> who will be the ted kennedy of the senate is an interesting question, too. you cannot pay somebody $9 an hour, you probably should not be any business. >> you talk about the economy as it is a moral instruments. even as i agree with you on that, that does not change the fact that it will hurt a generation of young people, and if you add on to that
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legalizing 11 million immigrants, a lot of whom are low-skilled, you are guaranteeing that the glove end of the scale, you will really hurt the chances of young, less skilled people of getting jobs. it is an economic fact. it may not be just, but it is true. >> that is thwhat i am asking, where is the evidence of that having happened when the minimum wage is increased? >> if that is the case, why not make it $15? >> the argument is not true -- >> if you are saying it has no effect on unemployment, why not keep raising at -- >> obviously it has some effect a commission by the question is, are you going to be asking people to work 40 hours -- obviously it has some effect! the question is, are you going to keep asking people to work 40 hours a week at the poverty level? the economy has to provide justice as well as prosperity.
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>> i understand that, but if you really want to help the people you want to help, you don't take away jobs. what you do is to grow the economy, you get above the 2% anemic rate of growth obama had given us. that is how you help these young people. >> that means passing some of these infrastructure programs -- >> because only government creates jobs? >> does anybody here think that he will get the $9 an hour? >> if the government spending on infrastructure is 8 cure unemployment, why is it that after the largest stimulus in galactic history we have 8% unemployment? >> actually, the latest studies -- >> let me interrupt your interruption. >> the tax increases and deficit spending you propose will hurt middle-class families, it will
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cost them their races, it will cost them their benefits, it may even cost them their jobs. mr. president, i don't oppose plans because i want to protect the rich. i oppose your plans because i want to protect my neighbors. >> all right, teacher, how would you grade that one? >> c-, but it is not his fault entirely. i read somewhere that some said he should have called up the leadership the night before and said, "i am dreadfully ill." nobody wins who does these speeches, nobody. they cannot be done well. they have been tried every way imaginable. the only person who did 1 well was fred thompson, and look what happened to him. >> he made a lot of good movies. >> this is not doable. this one was done not well. you had your guy up there and he is sweating profusely, you have a shot of him that makes him
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look like a blimp, he is reaching for his water somewhere out of the shot, and he gives a speech that sounds like mitt romney except for his background. >> nevertheless, the other night notwithstanding, this fellow is heading for stardom. there is no question about that, is there? >> there is after the other night. this is a fellow who was a brilliant messenger, and he had a message that was sold vacuous, that all problems can be solved by cutting the tax burden that donald trump labors under, that goldman sachs just past to be relieved of regulation. it was so bad, it was so bad, he made barack obama look like cicero and churchill rolled into one. it was really just a mediocre address. i disagree with nina on one point. there have been 106 rebut tals.
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three of the people who gave those have gone on to occupy the white house. >> that doesn't mean it's date did well. >> gerald ford, george h.w. bush, and little billy clinton. >> i don't think mark liked the speech. to bek, let's try slightly dispassionate about it. [laughter] you have a whole host of problems in society. the liberal answer is to find a government program that will fix it -- state of the union address. the conservative approach is in what way is the government's regulation, taxation, corruption, an hindrances of all kinds holding back this incredible engine of the private sector, which historically has provided unprecedented prosperity and liberty in america? that is the difference between the parties? rubio, if you look at the transcript -- i will not speak about his delivery.
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it was hot in there and he obviously was thirsty. [laughter] this transcript is an excellent presentation of the conservative argument that what is ailing america is sclerotic, obsolete, reactionary liberalism hanging onto every regulation, every increase in taxation it can get. i thought he did it well. the problem is he should have done it in a studio somewhere well prepared. >> colby? >> it was like a "saturday night live" skit. "saturday night live" could not have done it any better. he will go the way of paul ryan, these youthful looking guys, boyish, and then they spew out that same conservative pablum that got them in trouble. >> but he is talking about immigration -- >> he did it in that speech. >> according to "time" magazine, he got a voice mail from his mother saying, but " don't mess
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with the immigrants, they are human beings like us." >> that was a great anecdote, a nice touch. i hope he listens to his mother more often. the speech can be boiled down to this -- i am not mitt romney. i was not born to privilege -- >> but my views are pretty much the same. >> views are the same, not as well expressed. this is charles' idea of brilliant, insightful rhetoric -- "our free enterprise economy is because of our problems. that is what the president believes," according to marco rubio. that is fantasy, is balderdash. >> and you get the same thing from paul ryan. the problem is policy, pleaspol, policy. if the date could understand
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that, they might get out of this hole. >> i will let charles talk. >> rubio -- you are exactly right. it was the republican message without romney, and that was the problem republicans had last year. they had a plutocrat. after a financial collapse, a guy who is a financier. it was the wrong person delivering the message that in 2010, smaller government was the winning message. >> there is the smaller matter of sequestration. the axe is scheduled to fall on the first of march. democrats presented a plan to head off -- will they find any republicans to dance with? >> no, and republicans presented in the house two bills last year that would be redistributing the cuts so that
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defense is less hit. also have no dance partners. there is not going to be an agreement, we will hit sequester on march 1, it will take effect, and will happen is probably after the fact, people start working backwards and mitigating some of its effects. >> the only thing that would probably work is pain. when the campaign contributors are stuck in the airport lines for two hours, the pain will begin to be felt. it is an interesting thing -- the rubio speech, and lord knows the republicans had the obama speech an hour and a half or two hours before -- in some ways it was the ship passing and the night on the obama speech. he said the president proposed nothing on medicare, the president did propose something on medicare and in terms of cutting entitlements. there were things in this speech about reducing government costs. he also threw out a bunch of new
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programs that will cost more money and i don't think have the chance of a snowball in hell, i don't think he thinks that either. >> but he says that none of this will add a dime to the deficit, colby. how can he make that claim? >> i want to bring up another point about the state of the union. i watch these things to hear what the president has to say. now you approach it these events with the idea of what else are they trying to do to show disrespect to the president of the united states? sitting up there in the gallery at the request, the invitation of a republican, was a guy named ted nugent, who famously said barack obama and hillary clinton -- shows up with two machine guns, and says, but whatoba -- "obama, i told him to suck on m machinesy gun.
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hillary, right off into the --" i won't say the word he used could this guy was there at the request of a the republicans, steve stockman of texas bank -- >> apparently he behaved -- >> one of the more interesting things about watching the state of the union was watching how uncomfortable john boehner looked sitting behind him, and how to abide in periodically took out a pen and took notes. -- biden took out a pen and took notes. >> boehner has an uncomfortable job. >> he missed an opportunity a couple of years ago, with the brouhaha with the supreme court, to say, "i will ask you not to stand up." if we eliminated that, for one thing, it would be over in 40 minutes. i think it has been an
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artificial up and down, and downed. with sequestration, we are talking about real hits. we're talking about headstart, the most disadvantaged of kids, being cut. women and children on the low end, healthcare plans being cut. this is serious stuff. >> i would like to improve on mark's suggestion about state of the union, that we go all the way back to jefferson, who abolished its delivery and he did it in writing, until woodrow wilson -- for 100 years it was like a piece of paper, which is what it should be. wilson, of course, who did not have a lot of use for our constitution, made it into a theatrical event. [laughter] >> blocking chuck hagel. >> not a single nominee for secretary of defense in the history of our nation has ever been filibustered. >> the second-best valentine's present would be to allow
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sylvia and i to get the hell out of town. [laughter] >> leon panetta will stay on the job before a nominee is sworn in to replace him. before taking a well-deserved weeklong break, republicans in the senate put a hold on the nomination of technical as secretary of defense -- nomination of chuck hagel as secretary of defense. one of the issues holding up his benghazi. benghazi, like the poor and the gospel of matthew, will always be with us. >> as a political issue. they are beating a dead horse with this thing. you have to consider the politics of this. the senator from south carolina is up for reelection next year. >> lindsey graham. >> he will do whatever he can to head off a possible opponent from the right, and that means going after president obama on everything, everything, everything. this is the guy who famously
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said, "i don't trust susan rice over benghazi." >> susan collins voted to move this thing forward, but she says she will vote against his nomination. >> that is party discipline. >> is she worried about a challenge? >> i don't think she is worried about a challenge. i think the leadership wants to stick it to obama, they view chuck hagel as a heretic. if a democrat had the same views as chuck hagel, which john kerry did and he only had three votes against him, but this was one of their own. they are very put out about that. >> on fox news, john mccain recall that hagel was very rough on president bush, said that the surge in iraq one was the
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biggest mistake since vietnam, and that is the reason republicans are down on him. >> john mccain has been shifting positions this week. he is against the filibuster but wants to delay. this thing walks like a filibuster, quacks like a filibuster. it is a filibuster. secretary of defense bill cohen, republican. secretary of defense robert gates, republican. national security adviser brent scowcroft, republican. chairman of the joint chiefs of staff colin powell, republican. all of them are for and have endorsed publicly chuck hagel. who lost benghazi? next it will be lost china, who promoted the dentist from captain to major, and joe mccarthy will find out about it. chuck hagel wasn't even in the government at the time at benghazi. >> you can have as long a list of endorsements as you want, you
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can look at that and believe that or believe your lying eyes. is not ideology or history. it is competence ptt the worst performance of any nominee for any high office seen by anybody in this town. there was a democratic senator quoted after that disastrous day of hearings, where hagel did not even understand what containment of iran and -- he said, "chuck hagel will not be bringing the potato salad to next week's picnic." you talk about discipline among republicans? the discipline among democrats is shocking and embarrassing. there are democrats who watched that and know that this guy has no business running the department of defense. his performance was so bad that at the end, he said, "don't worry, senators, i am not going
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to be a decision maker at all, why worry about me?" here is a guy who wants to be secretary of defense who will be making decisions. it is the democrats who will be in paris and who are in paris and know it. -- will be in paris and who are in paris and 08. >> you want to know what is discipline? right-wing talk radio and right- wing publications going after chuck hagel for some medical friends of hamas. there is no friends of hamas. that is up and down the conservative network. there was no such organization. >> they have no shame at all. >> they have got to come to terms with the priest scandal and be more candid and honest about it. >> the catholic church as a global membership of 1.2 billion andsouls and presents itself as
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a custodian that is unchanging. it came as a shock this week that pope benedict has decided to resign. >> it absolutely shocked me as a lifelong, practicing, and admittedly imperfect catholic. it is astounding, especially his predecessor having gone through a long, painful public death. one of the critics of pope benedict was that you don't come out of the cross. to meet it is an active in, stability and honesty -- act of enormous humility and honesty. >> how many leaders in washington give up power willingly? >> george washington is the only example i can think of. when they announced it, they said it had not happened in 600 years, and you realize how venerable an ancient this institution is. the last time it happened it was a century before columbus.
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>> maybe the reason he decided to retire was that he was there when the previous pope had this long and agonizing death. you realize that he is just tired, depressed, human, actually. >> colby? >> know when to hold them and know when to fold them, and he made the right call. >> he has his critics. >> i am standing on the outside of this one. i just don't know enough -- >> you could say that he perhaps is starting a new tradition of introducing term limits. >> one of the factors that some suggested -- he did join twitter, and it has been a disappointment to millions. >> see you next week.
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